Unrighteous Righteous Deeds - Your Daily Forward Devotional

Unrighteous Righteous Deeds


March 24


Read Isaiah 64:6 (NIV)

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.



According to Isaiah, do our attempts to “do good” amount to anything of value? Can we be good enough to earn our salvation?


Have you seen the mantra “Be a Good Human” out there? Maybe it was on a T-shirt or a meme? What about “Just Be Kind” or something like that? It seems like good advice on the surface. We should try to be good humans and we should be kind to one another. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. It’s certainly important!


But if we examine these two philosophies further, we will find that they come up incredibly short in God’s eyes. Why? Because God is holy and we are sinners. Everything that we do is polluted by sin. We are tainted. That’s why, in today’s verse, Isaiah says, our righteous deeds are like filthy rags. Even the good works that we try to do are disgusting and repugnant to Him. We are unclean. And because of that, we are separated from God. There isn’t anything we can do to earn our way back to Him. We deserve death.


We need a substitute. We need someone who is perfect and holy to take our place. Romans 3:23 says that all fall short of the glory of God. Thankfully, God sent us the perfect substitute! His Son, Jesus Christ. In Christ we are “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”


Propitiation means appeasing or satisfying. In this case, we deserve God’s wrath and we deserve to die. But Jesus’ sacrifice satisfies the wrath of God on our behalf. Jesus is what we were not—clean! While our righteousness amounts to filthy rags, His righteousness is perfect, holy, and sufficient. When we are in Him, He makes us righteous. Not because of anything we have done, but because of who Jesus is and what He did on our behalf.


Friends, we have all sinned. We are not holy, blameless, or without blemish. Thanks be to God for sending His Son, Jesus to be a substitute. He is the acceptable sacrifice that we never could be. “He saved us, not because of the works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5, ESV).



Jesus, thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for living the perfect life and being the Lamb without blemish that I never could be. My works are not my righteousness, You alone are. Amen.



~ Pastor Nat Crawford



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Amen! Thank you Lord, I pray for us. Please stir the Holy Spirit in me so I can have kindness in abundance to others and they see Your Light. in Jesus name I pray.
Till I have met Jesus he cleosen me from
I realize I am a sinner. I am weak and give into some type of temptation often it can be from over eating to gossip or judgement or just plain laziness by not praying or reading my scripture. Lord help me overcome giving in to temptations. Amen
God is just what we need, thank God He loves me! He is our righteousness.
I know that I am unworthy of doing anything that could appease my sinful state and so, Lord Jesus, I ask You to be my propitiation and take away my guilt I pray. Amen.
Hi who knew no sin became our Absolute Atonement forever and a day! Thank you Father for Your Son, Thank You Jesus for being the One, Thank You God for Your love! Blessings. J
Praise you LORD for sending your son Jesus! We would all be lost without out Him!
Lord, without You there is no me. You called me ad many times I've rejected You. You let me fall into the pit only to extend your righteous right hand, and You pulled me up, once I turned to You with all my heart, soul, mind. All I have is thank you, Lord, for being my Savior, and my Redeemer. Amen.
Thank you Jesus!
Lord , I am not worthy or deserving of any of Your grace and mercy. Jesus died on the cross in order for us to have eternal life and a relationship with You. I am grateful. I want to be able to please You and not dishonor You,Lord. Forgive me of all my sins Lord. Thank You. In Christ Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Amen Thank you Lord
Thank you Jesus for your undeserved grace, for your love that surpasses all understand Ing. Praise the Lord.
Until we feel our ACTUAL unworthiness, there can be no salvation. "only the ill need a physician". It's wonderful that God has already taken the hit for my (and your) sins and we can immediately enjoy forgiveness and a renewed life when we (following our confession to Him) receive the gift of the Spirit of the Holy God within cleansing us and reconnecting us with Himself - after the disconnect in the garden so many years ago. As I remarked in my other post, God's payment for OUR sins IS complete, past present and future and His payment is applied to our account after we surrender to the facts of I Cor. 15:1-4.
In my view, you hit the nail on the head....thx.
I'm uncomfortable admitting that I am "unclean" and cannot EVER remedy that polluted state on my own. After all, we can apologize to those we offend, pay to repair damages due to us and ask for forgiveness from God and then proceed. But, given the high standard that a perfectly pure God must maintain in His presence, I realize that every day would put me deeper into perdition because even my best intentions may be polluted with impure motives and that even unexecuted sin (mental planning/desires) is applied to my account UNLESS there is intervention by a divine someone who can expunge my guilt - past, present and even future. Praise the Lord for the Lord Jesus Christ who entered the world of His creation out of love for me bringing both mercy and grace to my needy spirit.
Though Isaiah gives us a stark reminder that we cannot earn righteousness, we can do selfless works for the glory of God. I say this as a stern reminder to myself - may we never lose sight in our living to give all glory to God and for our incessant need of the redeeming Blood of the Lamb. ..Amen!
Glory be to God. Truth...Amen, by the grace and help of God.
Pastor Nat...this devotional hurt my heart somewhat because the context of words, particularly "filthy rags, righteous acts", made me feel unworthy of even attempting to be of good heart! I'm human and make mistakes every day but I try to be of good faith (deserving/humble/loving/honest) each step of the way. The words "righteous acts", to me, mean self-serving, selfish...I don't mean to be "righteous" in a haughty selfish way. I pray early each morning for His guidance each step of the way and guess what? I stumble, I have snarky thoughts about others on a rough day at work but I have learned to slow down and ask our Heavenly Father to help me with the next steps and pick me back up, set me straight. And He does. Each time and in amazing ways. If something comes my way whereby I can speak words of strength or offer help to another, I ask for those words and actions to be gracious and with love. My human brain thinks all kinds stupid things, but my actions, to me, are not self-serving (I only serve Him) nor selfish. At least I try to be a good disciple. You know, do the right thing. Anyway, thank you for today's devotional, it certainly touched me to examine the clarity in my daily walk. Blessings to you as well!
AMEN Thanks for saving our face with GOD JESUS I LOVE YOU in your name may GRACE BE SHOWN.
God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son to save the world by dying for our sins. We see God’s glory in his love for us. God is holy and therefore perfectly righteous and just. His love demonstrated by his mercy and forgiveness to us in Jesus’ death on the cross reveals his glory in all its splendor. When we receive his grace of eternal life by faith we honor him and reflect his glory to the world. Let us be in awe for what God has done for us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Jesus we love you !!!!
Jesus please help us 🙏🙏🙏
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your only Son Jesus Christ whose become our Lord and our Savior, Praise you Father for everything and I'm so Grateful for your Word and your Promises. In Jesus's Almighty Name, Amen